Florida Guide > Universal Parks
Disney and Universal are two of the major reasons for planning a vacation to Central Florida (as well, as the weather, shopping, golf, restaurants etc). For several years Disney were able to offer evening entertainment outside their theme parks through the clubs, shops and restaurants at Downtown Disney (or Marketplace) and Pleasure Island.
So Universal CityWalk was created to provide evening entertainment for visitors to Universal Studios and Islands Of Adventure. Many visitors walk through CityWalk, as it is situated between the car parks and theme park entrances, and provides facilities which rival those at Downtown Disney.Entertainment
Regular live concerts are scheduled at Hard Rock Live, featuring local, national and international artists. This is one of the major venues for live music, along with The House of Blues at Downtown Disney. There are also options for jazz music (at Cityjazz), reggae (Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom), dance (The Groove) - so plenty of choice, whatever your taste in music. Check out what is on in the local newspapers.
To supplement live entertainment, there is also a multi-screen cinema (or theater). Take your choice from 20 screens to catch the latest blockbuster - for European visitors some of these films may not yet have been released at home. A combination ticket is offered, to include a visit to the cinema and a meal at one of the many restaurants. Talking of which.....Restaurants
We have already mentioned Bob Marley's and the Hard Rock - but the list doesn't stop there. Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville is themed around the songs by the singer of the same name, whilst sports fans are not forgotten - at the NBA City and NASCAR restaurants. NBA features films and the story of basketball, whilst NASACR is themed around the motor racing sport of the same name.Shopping
There are also plenty of opportunities to spend a few dollars whilst walking through CityWalk. Several stores offer Universal-related merchandise, whilst there are also surfwear stores, Fossil - and an entire store dedicated to merchandise relating to endangered species.Car Parking
It is necessary to pay to park in the huge Universal car parks if arriving during the day - although parking is free during the evenings. As most of the entertainment is geared towards evenings, this doesn't present a problem. It is situated close to International Drive, so a brisk walk is also an option.CityWalk or Downtown Disney
It will come as no surprise to discover that both of these companies present their entertainment offering superbly. We recommend having a look during the day when visiting the other parks, and deciding which appeals more to you. The likelihood is you will wish to visit both - as you would expect, additional charges are made for some of the entertainment on offer.
Author: Guy and Karen Gore
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